Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Losing Argument: Medical malpractice lawsuits significantly increase healthcare costs.

Losing argument:

"In order to make sure health care is available and affordable, we've got to do something about the frivolous lawsuits that are...running up your health care costs." – President Bush, 9/9/04

Why it's a loser:

Bush's statement is contradicted by a study Bush himself says is authoritative. Yesterday on the campaign trail, "Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney used a new report by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Republican-leaning think tank, to bash Kerry's proposal to overhaul health care as too costly and cumbersome." The campaign has also launched an advertisement based on the AEI study. But in that same report (pg. 8-9) AEI concludes that limiting medical malpractice lawsuits would have "no significant effect" on health care costs. The study cites an examination of the issue by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. (Los Angeles Times, AEI, CBO)